TimeWarp – Forging a Carriage Spring Tanto

Charcoal forging a traditional tanto style blade from half of a reclaimed horse carriage leaf spring at 4x speed (total actual forging time including heating was about 2 hours). Serious students of the forge can watch the full process version here: https://youtu.be/y7fROs7i8-U

The two distinct stages are sunobe and hizukuri…sunobe establishes the geometry and proportions, and hizukuri is putting in the bevels and creating the final shape. The final dimensions take a little extra care as this blade is being forged very closely to a traditional kata.

The finished forging has a subtle recurve and a slightly dropping spine compared to the kata as the process of yaki-ire will cause the spine to curve upwards.

Shear steel is a very old and somewhat rare form of steel produced by increasing the carbon content of wrought iron using heat and charcoal to create a reduction atmosphere and then forge welding and folding layers together to homogenize the billet. The finished blade has distinct visible layers telling the story of its history.

Testing Bladesmithing Charcoal

A comparison of proper softwood blacksmithing / bladesmithing charcoal with “overcooked” high temperature charcoal which is best suited for biochar applications. Bladesmithing charcoal tests: 1. hard and clean, not crumbly and dusty 2. dense and solid, not spongy and blown out 3. musical and ringing when tapped, not… Continue reading

Making a Mountain Tanto

The wider profile of the mountain style tanto is inspired by a kamakura sword and has a more deeply curved tip (fukura-tsuku) and shorter drop point. The simple and humble mounting style is inspired by the age-old style of farming and foresting tools traditionally used in managing satoyama… Continue reading

Tools for Satoyama

Satoyama are the managed forest areas that border the cultivated fields and the mountain wilds in Japan. Historically they provided fertilizer, firewood, edible plants, mushrooms, fish, and game, and supported local industries such as farming, construction, and charcoal making. Balancing the interaction of wetlands, streams, forests, and fields… Continue reading

Making a Tanto Style Takedown Handle

The tang and handle of a classical tanto are constructed in a manner that requires only a single bamboo peg to hold the entire knife assembly together. In addition to the sense of beautiful simplicity, this design allows the knife to be taken apart for cleaning, polishing, or… Continue reading

MadeFor: Into the fire

Though the countries sit on opposite sides of the Pacific, this blacksmith in Canada has been honouring a sacred Japanese tradition for more than half of his life. In Canada, through Vancouver and over the Salish Sea, on Vancouver Island, there’s a small farm bustling with the sounds… Continue reading

MadeFor: Creating Off The Grid

See the full feature on MadeFor.com.au: Crossed Heart Forge – Off The Grid

We come into this world with an innate yearning to discover. The belief that there is something out there bigger than us, beyond our own frontier, constantly compels us to make more with what we’ve got, for the time we have here.